The UIHP Fellowship was established to identify and reward some of the most thoughtful, curious, and motivated UI Honors second-year students early in their education and create a space where they are challenged to develop a knowledge of the self that will deepen their intellectual life, strengthen their engagement with their academic community, and foster authenticity and confidence in their personal and professional relationships.
For 2020-2021, the fellowship will focus on a commitment to service learning and/or civic engagement. Meet them, below, and read their advice to incoming Honors students.
Ryan is a second-year student studying Political Science and Economics with a minor in Arabic on the Pre-Law track. He served as the Field Director for Hawkeyes for Warren and was a paid intern for the Elizabeth Warren campaign in Iowa City. Ryan became the Deputy City Liaison for UISG in February 2020 and became the City Liaison in May 2020. He is dedicated to uplifting student voices around campus and at City Hall.
"I encourage incoming Honors students to get involved in an activity or organization on campus. I have found that most Honors students are active in some organization that allows them to network and open more doors for future opportunities. Secondly, I recommend getting to know the Honors staff personally and professionally. The Honors Program has a wonderful staff who are committed to guiding students to where they want to go."
Maura O’Dea is a second-year English and Spanish major. She is an aspiring poet who loves to read and write; her favorite poets include Naomi Shihab Nye and Mary Oliver. Maura spends her time trying to be vegetarian, creating art, and participating in various activist movements in her community.
"Take advantage of Honors Program opportunities! Whether that’s participating in Primetime (where I met some of my best friends) or utilizing Honors study spaces, there’s so many ways to get involved in your Honors community that make your first-year experience an easier transition."
Abigail is double-majoring in French Literature and Culture and International Studies on the African Studies and Human Rights tracks and is working with Dr. Menninga studying cooperation in the Colombian conflict. She is studying abroad in France next spring and Rwanda next summer. Abigail spent time freshman year with the Global Buddies program, connecting with international students. In addition, she was a part of UI Students for Human Rights, which she will co-lead this fall semester.
"The Honors Program is a great way to connect with a wide range of driven students across campus and make the most of your experience at UI. Attend as many events as possible, across campus of course but specifically those put on by the Honors Program. It is an excellent way to meet great people, push your limits, and take advantage of lots of unexpected opportunities that arise just by being there. More generally, be a part of at least one club or group that focuses on what you are most passionate about. Deeply investing in interests outside of the classroom is critical to avoid getting burned out or feeling like you're lost in the crowd."
Lanchi is pursing a Biochemistry (BS) and a minor in psychology for her undergraduate degree and will be planning on attending medical school after graduation. Right now she is currently working as a research assistant in the Anesthesiology department studying the effects of nicotinamide riboside on chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and is a volunteer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She is a part of Medicus, the Snowboard and Ski club, and the Sailing club.
"There are many resources in the Honors program but nothing is really handed to you. If you want to take part in all the things the Honors program has to offer you really have to make an effort to reach out and connect yourself, as well as research additional opportunities."
Airiana is a second-year student studying neuroscience on the pre-medicine track with three minors. Aside from her education, Airiana values compassion and being involved in numerous activities and experiences. She is currently the secretary for the Undergraduate Student Government, a co-parade director for Iowa's Homecoming Executive Council, a member of DSAC, and one of the peer mentors with the Success in Rhetoric Program. Additionally, Airiana will be an Honors Publications co-editor in the fall.
"Take advantage of opportunity that you are interested in. Within the Honors Program and around campus there are so many different organizations and methods to get involved. Let your passions guide you to choose which you will pursue. Getting involved with so many different organizations on campus has introduced me to new friends, helped me network with staff, and pursue my passions. If you're interested in writing, I would recommend taking the Honors Publications course."
Zachary is an English and Creative Writing major, as well as a major in Mathematics. He is interested in tutoring mathematics, and does so at the University of Iowa MathLab. Another passion of his is writing. He writes 1,000 words per night, working towards finishing his second novel. When he graduates he wants to attend the University of Iowa's Writing Workshop graduate program, then attend law school.
"I would encourage incoming students to go out and do things! Anything! The Blank Honors Center is a great place not only to study, but to make friends. I'd also recommend incoming freshmen take the Honors Primetime course to start off their school year. It was where I met my best friend and helped me grow my network of friends. Similarly, attending clubs is a great way to not only make friends, but can help boost your resume. The same goes for working--it can help you make friends, give you a steady income, and students who work tend to make better grades than those who don't."
Sierra Wicks is majoring in Political Science and Ethics and Public Policy. On campus, she is a senator in The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government and currently serves as Committee Chair of Governmental Relations. She also serves as the event coordinator of Ignite UI, a new organization with the goal of promoting gender parity in politics. Sierra is a frequent volunteer for Hawk the Vote and various political campaigns.
"My biggest piece of advice to students new to the University of Iowa and the Honors Program would be to take Honors Rhetoric. During the first semester of my freshman year, I took an Honors section of Rhetoric and my whole class became very close. It was a great way to start college and helped me build community within the Honors Program. The class also helped me refine my approach to writing."
Lydia Guo is a second-year student studying Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Chemistry. She is an undergraduate research assistant at the Engelhardt Lab in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, focusing on cystic fibrosis research. Additionally, Lydia volunteers at the Medical ICU at UIHC and is the vice president of UNICEF Iowa. When she isn’t working with cells at her lab, Lydia enjoys graphic design and oil painting at her local art studio.
"The Honors Program has given me many opportunities to reflect and move forward on my journey in self-discovery during my time at the University of Iowa. The main aspects of my progress have been confronting my perfectionism and dealing with imposter syndrome. I believe these are elements that many can relate to, especially those carrying labels of being a gifted or honors student. I encourage these students to reach out to others around them and see that these are concerns shared by a large range of individuals. I hope these students will recognize and take advantage of the university’s numerous resources, as well as the opportunities offered through the Honors Program that encourage discussions surrounding these topics."